Thursday, August 15, 2013

"Return to Me" (2000)

So, this is possibly the sappiest, corniest love story I have ever liked.  And I really do like it!  Can you believe that?  Hamlette, scorner of all that is mushy, implausible, and predictable -- Hamlette has seen this movie four times.  Of my own free will.

Because it's really sweet.  And it has these four cranky old guys, and I have to admit, I love cranky old guys.  Not mean old guys, that's a way different thing.  But cranky, growly, crusty-on-the-outside-and-gooey-on-the-inside old guys?  Love them.  In real life and in movies.  And books.  And TV shows.  (This bodes well for my husband in forty years.)  Also, David Duchovny cries really well.

Okay, so the completely implausible and corny story is this:  Whatshisname (David Duchovny)'s wife dies.  Whatshername (Minnie Driver) gets his wife's heart as a transplant.  Whatshisname and Whatshername meet.  They fall in love.  The four cranky old guys (Carroll O'Connor, Robert Loggia, et al) aid and abet this romance with lots of great old music from Dean Martin and Frank Sinatra, etc.  They even have a discussion about who the greatest crooners of all time are, and Bobby Darin gets a mention.  Score!

Of course, then complications have to ensue because Whatshername finds out that it's Whatshisname's dead wife's heart that's now beating madly in her chest whenever she sees Whatshisname, enabling her to ride a bicycle, and generally making all of Whatshername's wildest dreams come true.  Whatshername is convinced that if Whatshisname finds out, he'll always think of his dead wife when he sees her, and it'll freak him out or make him sad or... something.  Reasons, ok?  Because of reasons.

But all ends well (sorry, kinda spoiled it all there, didn't I?  On the other hand, if you couldn't see all of this coming from about the first 4 minutes of the movie, you're a dimmer man than I, Gunga Din) and everyone lives happily ever after.  Except Whatshisname's dead wife, of course.

I was going to go back and plug in the character names after looking them up on imdb, but I think it makes just as much sense this way, plus it amuses me.  "And precious little amuses me, at my age."  (Quick!  What's that from?)

Yeah, I need sleep, don't I?

Oh, but if you name your movie after a Dean Martin song, would it kill you to play it during the finale or something?  Not just once at the beginning?  We Dino fans would greatly appreciate it, 'kay?

Hang on -- forgot to say if this is family-friendly or not.  There's a surprising amount of profanity, most of it supposed to be funny as James Belushi's character cusses at his kids to try to get them to stop cussing.  I don't find it funny.  But there's no nudity or love scenes or even kiss-and-fade-to-black scenes, though there's a lot of innuendo that a married couple like to have sex.  Shocker!  Married people have sex!  EEEEEEEEEEEEIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIIEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!  Run away!  Run away!!!!!!!!!

Must.  Sleep.  Now.

12 comments:

  1. Guess what? I really like this movie too! And it really isn't one you'd think would go on my list... but it just works and I love the four old guys and their music conversations, and I love the characters, and who needs their real names? LOL!

    No idea where the quote comes from, though.

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    1. No, I actually completely see that! I was actually thinking about Overboard while we watched this, and thinking about how that's another totally goofed-out romanctical movie that I like, and then about how you like it so much you actually have a copy, and wondering if you also liked this, then. You like the offbeat in the romances, it seems. Like French Kiss, with all its smuggling stuff.

      You would not know the quote.

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  2. Hehe, you're funny! Interestingly, because I do love (almost) everything that is mushy, implausible and predictable, I've never heard of this movie yet. Thanks for remedying that, I'll put it on my to-watch list!

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    1. I totally recommend this movie for you, then!

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  3. I am extremely allergic to sappiness. :-)

    -James

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    1. Yeah, I'm allergic to sappiness for sappiness's sake, and I think what saves this from being irrevocably sappy (for me) is that Whatshername just gets this big complex about how Whatshisname is going to get all weirded out about this, and just when I'm rolling my eyes at her so very much because she's being stupid... she tells him, and he does get weirded out! And I'm always like, "Whoa, I thought he'd just be like, 'Aww, that's sweet, I'm cool with it.'" And he's not, and things actually go a little dark and dismal for a while.

      But then three Italian nuns save the day. Well, not really, but sorta. Also, an old guy with cappuccino.

      But yeah, you'd probably go into anaphylactic shock or something. Though my brother likes it.

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  4. I loved this movie - the old guys definitely seal the deal for me as well :)

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    1. Aren't they just wonderful? I want to adopt them all.

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  5. Aw, I had almost forgotten about this movie! I'm an unashamed romantic who can enjoy almost anything sappy, so of course I liked it. ;) I'll have to see it again sometime! Thanks for reminding me.

    The quote: Aunt Josephine, Anne of Green Gables.

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    1. A thousand points to Lizzie for knowing the quote!

      Romance for me has to be tempered with... something. In this, it's quirky realism (that scene where Duchovny learns about the heart and just stumbles off saying he needs to walk? Breaks my heart, and so believable) and The Old Guys. There has to be something more than just romance for me. A mystery or a coming-of-age theme or something.

      Anyway, glad you've been reminded of this, as it's one that kind of slides through my memory's cracks too, but Mom happened to have it on her shelf, and when I saw it there the other night, I was like, "Hey, we're so watching this!"

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  6. I love this movie!!!! Those four guys never fail to make me giggle and laugh and the romance is....well....you know. ;) I loved this review too! Whatshisname and Whatshername totally works for me.

    The songs! The old guys! The gorilla! The guy who always compliments himself on his money! The water girl! The bike-riding (and playing cupid) nuns! It's all awesome!

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    1. Oh my goodness, the water girl! I want to throttle her. If only I could stop laughing long enough to do it...

      It really is such a sweet, nice movie in so many ways.

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